It seems like more people are doing it: swinging (popularly known as partner swapping). But what is it, why do people do it and if, how? NBRplaza did the research.
Swinging used to be called partner swapping or even wife swapping. It is a form of non-monogamous sexual behavior, in which both partners – with mutual consent and in front of each other – are sexual active with others. Partner swapping is not a term swingers like to use, because it suggests that you just simply exchange partners, while swinging is more than that.
Swinging is a lifestyle. Many swingers see it as a hobby or a social activity.
Where did it come from?
It is not exactly clear where the term ‘swinging’ comes from. Group sex already existed in the time of the ancient Romans and Greek and probably long before that. Some claim that it started of in World War II, when pilots allowed their wives to see other men while they where on a mission. Another explanation is that it emerged during the sexual revolution in the 1960s and ’70s. The introduction of the pil and other contraceptives allowed people to be more sexual active.
Swinging as a lifestyle
There are different reasons people start to swing. Usually it is to get a more diverse sex life. The tension and curiosity are often the principal motives. Through swinging they can experience how things are with someone else, or together (in a threesome, group sex or foursome).
Soft and full swap
Some couples that attent swinger nights, e.g. in a couples club, limit themselves to just looking. Maybe they flirt a little here and there, and they even might have sex with their own partner while they watch other people or while they are being watched. But then they go home again. Those are soft swingers. Soft swinging is a perfect alternative if you are not sure if the lifestyle is something for you, or if you don’t agree on sex with other people. Soft swap is when a couple has sex with their own partner, but together with another couple. With soft swapping there might be some touching, or kissing, even a bit of oral sex or hand jobs, but no penetration. With full swap both couples go all the way with the other couple.
Swingers are looking for ways to get into contact with likewise people. A couples club is a good way to start. It is a meeting place for couples that are looking for some adventure to experience a soft or full swap. Couples clubs are generally easygoing places with a certain door policy. This usually means that there is mutual respect, no = no, and if you misbehave you will be thrown out. Men alone are usually not allowed. Some clubs organize specific theme nights (BDSM, fetish, gangbang, etc.).
Online Datingsites for swingers
Next to couples clubs, there are many online dating sites. Through these dating sites it is easy for couples to meet other couples. Online dating sites are very popular, because it is a good way to first get to know each other, before you will actually meet. But even Twitter can be used as a way to find like-minded couples.
Most clubs have safe sex policies. Condoms are usually free and readily available. A Dutch survey showed that the chance of getting an STD during swinging is bigger than through visiting a prostitute. About 12% of all Dutch people carrying an STD appears to be a swinger. So that means it is very important to set yourself some boundaries and to discuss this with the other couple.
It is important to change condoms every time you change sex partners.
What does it take to become a swinger?
‘Swinging’ is not a suitable lifestyle for every couple. Figure out if you two meet the following conditions:
- A stable relationship;
- A liberal opinion on sex;
- A balance of power in your relation;
- Excellent open communication between partners;
- Openness and honesty about your feelings and respect for those of your partner;
- Sound agreements on boundaries and respect and meet those agreements;
- Proven problem solving track record in your relation;
- Be flexible and responsive to each other, even in exciting situations.
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